Today we sit down with blogger and author Theresa Snyder. Theresa’s work spans multiple genres with a variety of characters and settings. She is going to share her work, background and inspiration with us.
Q1) What is the title and genre of the book you want to tell us about?
It is actually a series I would like to tell you about. The “Shifting” books are part of the Twin Cities Series. There are currently three in the series with two more to come in this particular setting.
Q2) Can you summarize your book in one sentence?
A paranormal/fantasy adventure with a touch of romance and humor thrown in.
Q3) Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
These were written for mature YA to Adult who enjoy a little escape from reality. It is unlike any other paranormal you have run across. They are a fun, quick read for travellers, a night by the fire or on the beach during a relaxing day in the sun.
Q4) How did you come up with the title?
The main character is a shape-shifting human who shifts into a very powerful wolf. Therefore, I put “Shifting” in all the titles, ‘Shifting in The Realms,’ ‘Shifting Agony & Ecstasy,’ and ‘Shifting Places.’ He lives in The Realms which is a parallel world to our own where creatures humans think are paranormal or fanciful all live.
Q5) Tell me about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
The original art was done by J.B. Cameron, but then Sarah Hyndshaw stepped in to design the rest of the covers. I think the black and white with gray envokes the paranormal feel without teligraphing any horror elements. There is no ‘horror’ in these books. Bloodsucking is all done off the page.
Q6) What are your biggest writing influences?
I write in four genres, paranormal, scifi, fantasy and memoirs. I think the authors with the most influence on my work were the early scifi masters like Asimov and Heinlein and the fantasy author, Anne McCaffrey. I love all these author’s character development and detail. All my work is very character driven.
Q7) Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
In the ‘Shifting’ books, I love Scar, the wolf shape-shifter. I really enjoy crawling into his skin and seeing the world through his eyes.
Q8) How about your least favorite character?
I am a typical reader when I write, I hiss the villains. I can’t wait for the main characters to get the better of them.
Q9) If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?
I would make them longer.
I hate for them to end, but when the story is finished, it’s finished. I just have to write another to satisfy my readers, and my, cravings.
Q11) Can you give us a fun fact about your book?
Cody/Scar is madly in love with Simone, but she does not know he is a shape shifter. Hence, he has the dilemma that the girl he loves adores him in his wolf form, but is not that taken with him in his human form. It creates some fun scenes between them in both his human and wolf form.
Q12) What other books are similar to your own?
Perhaps the closest would be Sherrilyn Kenyon. She has several werewolf novels in her Dark Hunter Series. Even though Scar is not a werewolf – he is a wolf.
Q13) What makes them alike?
Her books are like mine on steroids where the romance and erotica is concerned. Mine are dialled back on the blood and heavy romance, but have more adventure. As I said, most of the bad stuff happens off the page and you just read the aftermath.
Q14) Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
I am a gardener and a great decorator. I created a Moroccan room where I can escape to write and read. I had so many people as me about it on Twitter that I made a YouTube Video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qFQL6-Yf-c
Q15) How can we find out more about you and your books?
Everything is available on my website: http://www.theresasnyderauthor.com/
Social links, book purchasing links and a great internationally read Serial Story Blog with a continuing story added to each Saturday.
Q16) What can we expect from you in the future?
I have some new books coming out in the fall, one is another in the ‘Shifting Series,’ one is a compilation of the first three scifi books in the Star Traveler Series and the last is an addition to my fantasy series, a look at my dragon during his early years as a youngling.
Q17) What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Authors long to be read, reviewed and talked about. We have egos a mile wide and we want all our ‘baby books’ to be bragged on and loved by everyone.
Q18) Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
This is where I do a little pitch for my ‘business on the side.’ I have Affordable Proofreading & Editing Service, LLC: http://affordableproofedit.blogspot.com/
The #1 piece of advice is for an author to put out the cleanest work they possibly can. You might have a great idea, but unless it is readable you won’t get anywhere and you might even damage your reputation with bad reviews.
Q19) Can you give us an excerpt from your book to intrigue and tantalize us?
Sure. This is the first chapter of “Shifting in The Realms.”
I didn’t bother trying to hide the sound of my approach. It wouldn’t have worked with Remy anyway. He’s a vampire. Besides having excellent hearing, trying to sneak up on one will only get you killed. Of course, in my case I guess that’s not possible, I mean, the getting killed part. You see, I am technically already dead.
“Cody,” Remy said, as greeting once I was within earshot. That was several yards away since I have excellent hearing and he knows it. He didn’t even bother to turn from his post as guard at the tunnel into The Realms.
I came up beside him and handed him the still warm rabbit I caught for him on the way out.
“Thanks.” He sunk his fangs into it and had a good long swig of rabbit blood. He swore off human blood a while back. If this was in the real world, out there on the other end of the tunnel, my bringing Remy this rabbit would be like handing a cop a cup of hot coffee while he was on duty during a cold day. In The Realms things are just a bit wonky.
Remy was leaning up against a tree so I squatted down beside him. I am really tall, better than six and a half feet, but skinny and not very appealing as a human. If I squat it makes me about chest high on Remy even though he’s not small himself.
Remy finished his drink and offered me back the carcass. I wasn’t hungry, ate on the way out, so I shook my head and he jettisoned the remains with one of those incredibly powerful tosses that only a vampire can do. Some other critter would have a nice little snack when they came across it.
Remy is a man of few words. In fact, sometimes he can’t even get them out right, but that’s one of the reasons I like him. He’s easy to be with. I get tongue tied a lot. I’m sixteen and as much as I hate to admit it I am at a very awkward age and it ain’t gonna get any better since I’m not gonna age since I’m dead. I told you that, right?
“Just needed to talk.” I ran a long skinny hand through my nondescript brown hair. It never does what I want it to. It’s always in my eyes. I have perpetual ‘bed head,’ another thing that makes me unappealing as a human.
May as well get on with why I came out. Remy was like stone, he could wait for years in order for me to get to the point, but I needed some advice and Remy being my oldest friend in The Realms and adult, I thought he might have something useful to say.
“Pete set me up with a blind date for Friday.” There, I just spit it out. I needed some guidance. I’d never been on a date before. When I died, Hell, it was just a possibility sometime in the future. Now, damn it… sometime was here.
“With a girl?” Remy asked in all honesty.
“Well, yeah.” I tried to push the unruly hair out of my face again. “Pete’s human. What else would he match me up with?”
I mean, Remy knows I’m a shape-shifter. He’s the only one who does. He was here at his post guarding the tunnel into The Realms where a lot of the paranormals in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area live when I arrived beating feet in my wolf form just a few yards ahead of the retrieval unit from The Midlands between Heaven and Hell. I’d escaped while they were waiting for the judgment to come down. My pop always told me to keep my nose clean. Paranormals didn’t get into heaven, and hell, I had just murdered someone, so I had two strikes against me. When I saw the chance I ran. Fought my way through the seven plains of existence back to earth, getting pretty beat up in the process.
Remy’s job is to guard this particular entrance to The Realms. He stepped aside. No words asked. I jetted by him full out, tongue hanging and tail tucked. He hid me and blocked their way. I wasn’t worth a tussle with a vampire as ominous as Remy, so they backed off spouting things like ‘you show your face in the real world and you are toast,’ and ‘don’t even let us see you on the earthly plain again.’ They are great at throwing around that kinda shit, but they can’t catch a fast running, sly wolf like me. As a human, I suck. As a wolf, I am awesome – fast, smart, handsome, gray fur so thick you could sink your hand up to the wrist in it. The only thing my human body and my wolf body have in common is the eyes. I do have really deep, warm, brown eyes. My sister used to say they were bedroom eyes and one day a girl was going to notice them and fall in love with me. Yeah, right…
Remy was just standing there. I’d say he was thinking except that he looked more like he had completely spaced the conversation.
“So, we’re going to go for burgers,” I offered to bring him back from whatever abyss he was teetering on.
“You like burgers, right?” Remy said and stuck his hands in his pockets.
“Yeah, that isn’t the point, Remy. The point is I’m scared shit-less. I never been with a girl before. What do I say? A few words of advice from the old guy would be helpful,” I pleaded.
“Don’t ‘shift’ during sex.”
Why did I even come? What did I expect from a dude that if you asked him how many people came through the gate in the last century he could name everyone of them and in order of appearance, but he couldn’t tell you what animal he feasted on twenty minutes ago. I just didn’t have anyone else to talk to. I mean being here in The Realms – not knowing anyone but Remy and Pete was tough. Pete knew less about girls than I did, but was your typical hormonal teen human and willing to at least dive into the fray. Hell, he was anxious. I wanted advice. I missed my dad. Hell, I missed my whole family, but even if I wasn’t stuck in The Realms they weren’t in the real world anyway. They were all gone. Gone or dead like me.
Q20) Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Theresa Snyder has a wealth of life experience to pull from to write her character driven novels, novellas and stories. Born in California, she has lived in every state west of the Mississippi. She grew up in what most people would consider a huge family with two natural born brothers and twenty-three foster and adopted brothers.
Writing has always been her passion, but jobs from zoo keeper to legal assistant, maker-up artist to marketing coordinator, and retail clerk to print shop manager have paid the bills over the years.
All of this experience has led to very richly developed characters, plots and settings.
Her internationally read blog has a following of over 136,000 and has over 1,000 hits a month. She also has more than 38,000 followers on Twitter after less than two years on the site.
Theresa Snyder is a multi-genre writer. She grew up on a diet of B&W scifi films like Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still. She is a voracious reader and her character driven writing is influenced by the early works of Anne McCaffrey, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and L. Ron Hubbard. She loves to travel, but makes her home in Oregon where her elder father and she share a home and the maintenance of the resident cat, wild birds, squirrels, garden, and occasional dragon house guest.